Fall 2021: Offered at AST and Online (Hybrid)

Course Description

A study of creation across the Christian Bible, with particular focus on the HB/OT, this course will explore why the topic of creation has been sidelined in biblical studies and biblical theology, and how, thanks in part to the ecological crisis, it is getting new attention. Major headings in the course are creation, counter-creation, de-creation, and re-creation. Minor themes include sabbath, sea monsters, land, city, wisdom, and praise.

Required Texts (Fall 2021)*

The following texts are required. Students are strongly encouraged to purchase their own copies. Library copies that are not reference works will be placed on a 2-hour reserve in the AST Library.

A Bible, either NRSV or NJPS translation
There are many editions, and you may already own one that will serve well. If you want a study Bible, consider the NJPS alternative described below. Its supplementary notes and essays are exceptional. You may also prefer a Bible without all the commentary (as I usually do).
NRSV Study Bible: Michael Coogan, ed. New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version. 5th ed. Oxford / New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
NRSV Text Only: I find I generally only want the text itself (it’s far more portable, and notes can get in the way). In that case, get a version like this instead.
NJPS Study Bible: Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, eds., The Jewish Study Bible: Second Edition (Oxford / New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).
Myths from Mesopotamia
Stephanie Dalley, ed. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Rev. ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
ISBN: 978-0199538362.
Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil
Jon D. Levenson. Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988 (repr. 1994).
ISBN: 978-0691029504.
Tanner, God and Creation
Kathryn Tanner. God and Creation in Christian Theology: Tyranny or Empowerment?. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988 (repr. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005).
ISBN: 978-0800637378.

Please note that textbook selections for my courses often change with each iteration of the course.

Davis, Agrarian Reading
Ellen F. Davis. Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
ISBN: 978-0521732239.
Smith, Priestly Vision
Mark S. Smith. The Priestly Vision of Genesis 1. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2010.
ISBN: 978-0800663735.
Making Sense
Margot Northey, Bradford A. Anderson, and Joel N. Lohr. Making Sense in Religious Studies: A Student’s Guide to Research and Writing. 3rd ed. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2019.
This title is optional but highly recommended. It includes basic advice on things like reading religious texts, writing essays and book reviews, making oral presentations, and learning languages. It should help you master fundamental tasks in nearly any course in religion or theology.
The SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd Edition, is the definitive style manual for biblical studies and related disciplines.
A blog (sblhs2.com) and free Student Supplement (PDF) should cover the issues most common to term papers. The AST library copy is in the reference section at PN 147 S26 2014.
Serious students of biblical studies will want a copy of their own. Order one from SBL Press or elsewhere online. ISBN 978-1589839649.
See my resources page for further advice on writing, style, and research.

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